Sweet corn cultivation is not very demanding and requires very little attention from the grower except during the harvesting stage. Being a short duration crop, it takes three months to mature for harvesting and needing to be weeded just once during this period, it can easily fit into any sequential cropping system.
For the first time in the state, Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Kumarakom, Kerala Agricultural University, have successfully initiated cultivation of sweet corn in its farm.
The outcome of the research proved that a net profit of Rs. 18,700 is achievable within a span of 90 days. The farmers who took up the cultivation recently, found twin advantages: good yield and post-harvest fodder to cattle. In addition Women SHG of Kumarakom panchayath, have taken up the cultivation as a field trial.
The crop is a warm-season crop that requires high temperatures for optimum germination and growth. It prefers well drained fertile soil which is rich in organic matter. Raised bed planting is preferred method of planting. Sowing should be done in lines by placing the seed 3-5 cm deep with row-to-row spacing of 60 cm and plant-to-plant spacing of 30-45 cm.
Seed rate is 5- 8 kg/ha. Sweet corn hybrid seeds are available in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Belgaum at a cost which varies from Rs. 2,500 – 3,000 per kg.
The seeds germinate in 3-5 days and starts flowering from the 45th day after sowing. The cobs can be harvested when the thread like silk gets dried. Response to applied organic manures is notable and hence integrated nutrient management (INM) is an important nutrient management strategy in this crop.
Organic manure and phosphorus fertilizers are given as basal and nitrogen and potassium fertilizers in two splits. Soil moisture must be continuous throughout the growth period and is especially critical from silking through kernel growth.
(Dr.Vandana Venugopal is Associate Professor(Agronomy), RARS, Kumarakom ,Kerala Agricultural University Mobile :09847514726, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. A.V.Mathew, Associate Director of Research , Kumarakom ,KAU: 686 563.)